Country Crossings music festival fans will be searching for parking throughout Central Point after festival organizers decided not to offer a large off-site parking area like they did in 2017.
On the opening night of last year’s festival at The Expo in Central Point, music fans exiting the festival endured hours-long waits to be shuttled by buses to a parking area set up six miles away at a White City fire station. Organizers provided more buses on later days of the festival after concert-goers posted hundreds of complaints on social media about their opening-night experiences.
This year’s festival runs from Thursday, July 26, through Sunday, July 29, and is expected to draw 20,000 people.
A limited number of VIP and handicapped parking spaces are available at The Expo, although those passes have sold out. People who have purchased camping spots can also have a vehicle on the grounds.
But people who aren’t camping and have general admission tickets to attend the festival’s music concerts will have to find their own parking.
“The event promoters did away with general admission parking,” said Jackson County Road and Parks Director John Vial.
He said most of the people using last year’s shuttle bus system to get back and forth to off-site parking weren’t satisfied with the arrangement.
The county and Country Crossings are advertising that Jackson County School District 6 will host parking in Central Point at Scenic Middle School, 1955 Scenic Ave.; Crater High School, 655 N. Third St.; and Jewett Elementary School, 1001 Manzanita St. Daily parking fees range from $20 to $25 and must be paid in cash. Proceeds benefit local schools, according to Country Crossings.
Vial said he’s heard that businesses and other property owners also will be selling parking spaces in Central Point.
“Other lots are popping up here and there,” he said.
In 2017, Central Point residents and businesses offered alternatives to the official off-site shuttle parking system by selling parking spaces in the city. Community youth and sports organizations were among those using the opportunity to make money.
Country Crossing was held for the first time in Jackson County last year after outgrowing its home at Cape Blanco on the Oregon Coast.
Vial said there were some problems with the 2017 shuttle bus system and he expects there could be some hiccups with the traffic plan for this year. Country Crossings organizers and local officials likely will have to make adjustments along the way, he predicted.
The county roads department, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the city of Central Point and local law enforcement agencies have been working with Country Crossings staff on a traffic control plan to deal with festival impacts, according to county officials.
This year during the festival, the city of Central Point is prohibiting parking on Scenic Avenue from Highway 99 to Upton Road; Third Street from East Pine Street to 10th Street; 10th Street from East Pine Street to Upton Road; all side streets east of 10th Street; on Upton Road; in the Old Upton Road neighborhood; Wilson Road from Upton Road to Gebhard Road and on Gebhard Road, Beebee Road, Hamrick Road, Peninger Road and East Pine Street.
Vehicles parked on streets with “no parking” signs will be towed. Any vehicle parked in such a way that it encroaches on a travel lane also will be towed, county officials said.
Festival-goers are being advised not to use Exit 33, the closest I-5 exit to The Expo, and instead to use Exits 30 and 35.
“If you’re coming to attend the festival, don’t take Exit 33,” Vial said. “That will be a very congested area.”
Guests with VIP and handicapped parking passes purchased from the festival must be parked by 7 p.m. in the designated lots at the festival. That’s because Peninger Road will be closed at 7 p.m. between Pine Street and Upton Road to allow the safe exit of pedestrians leaving the festival, according to Country Crossings.
Guests using the handicapped lot must display both their festival handicapped parking pass and a state-issued disabled parking permit in their vehicle windows, festival officials said.
Peninger Road will be closed to through-traffic from the Family Fun Center to Upton Road for the duration of the festival, county officials said.
Pedicabs will run between parking and camping areas and will carry guests for $7 per person, payable by cash or card, according to Country Crossings.
Upton Road will be open to local traffic only and will become a one-way road from 10th Street to Wilson Road. No through traffic will be allowed. Temporary reduced speed limits will be in place on portions of Upton Road, Wilson Road, Gebhard Road and Beebe Road, county officials said.
All drivers are urged to watch out for pedestrians.
Passengers can be dropped off at Gate 1 behind the Family Fun Center on Peninger Road. However, passenger pick-up is not allowed at that location. Passenger pick-up is at Scenic Middle School, according to Country Crossings.
Guests who have paid to camp at the festival must display a camping placard on the front windshield of their RV or vehicle. Only one vehicle is allowed per camping space unless a camper buys an extra vehicle pass. Two motorcycles are allowed in one camping parking place, festival officials said.
The Bear Creek Greenway will be closed to through bicycle travel from Pine Street to Upton Road during the festival. It will be open to pedestrian traffic for the festival. A bike parking area for festival-goers will be available at the south end of Peninger Road.
For more information, see cxfest.com.
Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.